Tag Archives: living off-grid

Adventures Just Beginning – True Life Wilderness Living.


So, the backhoe that neither of us could drive sat there waiting, and Greg had the key, which was the place to start – He sat in the cab and started the engine, then basically fiddled about until he knew what most of the things did, or at least how to move it forwards and backwards.

The caravan was on the road, too, and had been there through the night. We picked the spot for our driveway and Greg practiced with the backhoe by filling in the sudden drop from hill to roadside, and generally smoothing down a pathway. It was still very steep but was the only way onto the block.

When all was as good as it could be, Greg towed the caravan off the road and up to the brow of the hill where it would remain for some months before we ventured deeper. Our first mission a success, we then encountered the first snag. Greg couldn’t turn the engine off again. The key didn’t do it.

After half an hour searching for a switch or a lever that would turn the beast off, Greg gave up and asked me to give it a go. I did pretty much what he did, I searched everywhere, but finally spotted a bit of metal sticking out that had a screw thread, but nothing on it. Wondering if a button was missing on the thing, I played with it. It turned out to be the decompression lever and the engine, thankfully, died.

Great. So now we had Greg with a basic understanding of how to operate the backhoe, and me knowing how to turn it off. The next day was Monday and Greg went to work, leaving me alone to “tend the property”. That involved putting a road in, he informed me, jokingly, before heading away for the day. He had done the driveway bit, maybe a hundred feet, so it was my turn to learn and operate the heavy machine.

I don’t think he was expecting much, and I know I could have left it, but I thought I might just give it a go and surprise him. I was the one in for some surprises, however. If we thought the driveway was steep, I was about to learn that the other side of the hill was even steeper and dropped down far lower than the road.

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A Tent in the Great Outdoors – On Fire, More’s the Pity.


In my last Exciting Adventures in the Wilderness post (“Two Creeks in our Wilderness, Both Annually Drying Up!”), I finished with Greg set fire to the tent – The whole point of a tent was to keep us dry and protected from whatever wildlife might come snooping around at night, insects more than animals, but animals, too – nothing wrong with wanting to sleep soundly and unbitten, especially when you don’t know exactly what might be out there.

The caravan was to provide us with a twin office and a kitchen of sorts. It was there to protect our computers and also to provide a work station where I could write science fiction while acting as Land Manager and Guard Dog over our camp. As we couldn’t run to two caravans, that meant our bedroom had to be elsewhere. A tent it was.

So, we ripped out the bed that had come with the caravan and set it up in our canvas dwelling, a two-room tent, then settled in with great enthusiasm. On the first night, however, Greg set some candles on the tent floor to light our way to bed. A lovely thought, but before we turned in, the wind billowed in the walls and the canvas set on fire.

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What the Heck is a Quoll? True Life.


A quoll is cute until it opens its mouth, then you are introduced to its serious side – Quolls are an Australian marsupial carnivore, cousin to the Tasmanian Tiger, but only about the size of a cat – although with canine teeth like a dog – They are nocturnal and eat whatever meat they can catch of small and medium-sized creatures, including possums.


Out in the wilderness of the Northern Territory, we had quolls all over our camp every evening. They came out at dusk and got up to mischief all night. They broke into our early idea of meat-safe (a foam lidded box) and ate our meat. They tried to eat our cat more than once, too, but he got wise to them and learned to keep out of their way.


They even moved into my office caravan. It was an old van with gaps and holes that we didn’t even know about. I opened a drawer one day and found a fair-sized quoll splayed out and fast asleep right on top of the papers that were in there. He had climbed in up through the floor and in through the back of the drawer.

I wish I had taken a picture, but I was too busy closing the drawer really carefully so as not to wake him and have him go Wild-Animal all over my office. 😀


The pictures shown in this post were NOT taken of our local population. These pictures are all borrowed from the Internet as we never could get a good clear picture of one.

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